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Friday, February 21, 2014

#2138 - Munchen Haus, Leavenworth, WA - 4/20/2013

Munchen Haus is part and parcel of the Bavarian village theme of Leavenworth, and if you and your party are in the right frame of mind for kitschy, touristy good time, you will have a good time here and on the town.

On the east side of the Cascade mountain range where Icicle Creek meets the Wenatchee River, Leavenworth is a town of about 2,000 people which attracts 2 million tourists a year. After Lamb-Davis Lumber Company shut down and the Great Northern Railway moved on in the 1920s, Leavenworth struggled for survival through the Great Depression on through the 1960s. When a 1962 plan from the University of Washington's Bureau of Community Development recommended attracting various industries but without an emphasis on tourism, Ted Price and Bob Rogers stepped in. Rogers and Price (a gay couple, not out at the time) had converted the nearby Squirrel Tree Inn to a pre-industrial Bavarian theme, and they recommended doing the same for the dying town of Leavenworth. Having difficulty convincing the town, they and Carolyn Schutte began buying property in the area and remodeling it. By July 1970 the town established the Leavenworth Design Review Board which required all construction and remodeling -- down to the Safeway, the McDonalds, the bank, and the gas station -- to be done in prescribed Bavarian styles. Nowadays the town always seems to be celebrating one oddball festival or another -- on one trip a few years ago we arrived to see a volleyball game in the snow between one team dressed as members of Fred Flintstone's Buffaloes Lodge and the other dressed as sandwiches.

By 2000 when Oliver and Pam Brulotte bought a small space where they could sell Kettlekorn in a covered area between shops, Leavenworth was brimming with shops selling nutcrackers and nesting dolls, Christmas ornaments and funny mugs, candies and cheeses. The shack was Bavarian themed of course, and they eventually expanded to selling microbrews and bratwursts (with 10 different mustard choices). Because they're outside, they're not always the best choice in the Winter months that are the most popular now with the tourists, but when it's warm enough it is a fine little stop.

709 Front St, Leavenworth, WA 98826 - (509) 548-1158
Est. 2001
Previous bars in this location: None known
Web site: munchenhaus.com - facebook
Reviews: ratebeer - yelp - Leavenworth - beeradvocate

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